Irina Paert

17 Irina paertElders and “Young Elders” in the Russian Orthodox Church

Irina Paert is a graduate of Ural State University in Yekaterinburg (BA in Social Science and History, 1992) and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary (MA in Central European History, 1994). She obtained her PhD in Social History from Essex University (UK). She held postdoctoral fellowships and a lectureship in the Universities of Manchester and Bangor. In 2005 she moved to Tallinn where she first worked as researcher at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies before taking the senior researcher position at the School of Theology and Religious Studies, Univesity of Tartu.
Paert specializes in Russian religious studies, focusing particularly on the history and culture of Old Believers and the Russian Orthodox Church. She is author of two monographs: Old Believers, Religious Dissent and Gender in Russia 1760-1850 (Manchester UP, 2003), and Spiritual Elders: Charisma and Tradition in Russian Orthodoxy (DeKalb, 2010) as well as several articles and book chapters on cultural history. Currently, her research interests are in the history of Orthodoxy (including Old Believers) in Estonia, religious education, and in the role of religion in the contemporary Russian Diaspora in the Baltics.